Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Why I Chose to Adopt a Pet

By Menying Bi
Student Ambassador, University of Pennsylvania

It can sometimes get lonely, studying abroad alone and away from family. Most of my friends are also graduate students, and under as much academic pressure as me. It’s not always easy for us to get together due to our different schedules. I struggled with loneliness and missed my cute parrot back home, so I decided to adopt a pet. I met Charley at the shelter- he needed a home, I needed a family. That’s how my dog Charley became part of my life. I am genuinely grateful that Charley has been there for me.

Before Charley came into my life, I tended to stay up late and delay my morning routine. Now, each morning, Charley wakes me up early. After a light breakfast, we go jogging along the river. He’s become my best workout buddy: I have to run faster to catch up with him than running alone, and since we started running together, my speed has improved a lot. Charley is a red Pomeranian and weighs about 11 pounds. That makes him a perfect dumbbell for me. He’s so happy every time I lift him above my head. He looks up at the sky and then down into my eyes, and we smile at each other.

We cherish each other’s company. We play Frisbee at Clark Park in the spring blossoms. I take him to outdoor movies at the Art Museum in the summer. In the autumn, we go jogging and enjoy each sunset on the Schuylkill River in the crisp air. For the snowy days in winter, we prefer to snuggle down on our comfortable sofa at home. I cannot imagine my life here without Charley. Every single day, he’s in it.

Perhaps now you are tempted to adopt a pet as well. It is a big decision to bring an animal into your life, so before you do, ask yourself these questions:

  • Are you really ready for a long term commitment and responsibility? 
  • Can you make enough time to keep your buddy company? 
  • Is your apartment or dormitory pet-friendly? 
  • If so, do you have any roommates? Do they agree with you adopting a pet? 

Do you plan to continue staying in the country? If you leave, will you be able to take your buddy with you? Remember, a pet might not be able to travel with you given weight, size, or other restrictions.

Make sure you consider these questions before making the decision to adopt. If adopting a pet is right for you, I look forward to hearing your wonderful stories with your buddies someday!


Mengying Bi will earn a Master of Science in education from the University of Pennsylvania in May 2016. She focuses specifically on education, culture and society. Mengying is from China. 


  1. Thank you for taking some time to write this post. Dogs offer a lot of enjoyment and activity to their pet parents. There are many available dog breeds that will definitely fit one’s lifestyle. Running is one of the most popular routine exercise activities that appeal even to those who are not very athletic, because it only requires some good running shoes and a good place to run around. See more here http://dogsaholic.com/breeds/info/best-dogs-for-running.html

  2. My sister had gotten a puppy for my mom & the poor thing had been a puppy mill rescue. The puppy went deaf before she was even 2. Then she had horrible skin & digestive issues. Mom spent thousands of dollars to keep Oreo healthy & alive. She died at the age of 7. All of our other dogs lived to be in their teens...almost twice as long as dear Oreo. SMH


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